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The Manure Spreader: Pecking order

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairy Published on 19 July 2020

Well, thanks to all the recent stay-at-home orders, business is booming for the farmers who grow green peas. Why? Because vasectomies are up by 80%. Apparently, December and January will be the next big baby boom.

We’ve heard it before: The oldest child is the smartest and most successful, the middle kids are better at relationships and easy to get along with, and the youngest is the rebel and free spirit. People have long believed this to be the scientific fact. Maybe so, but this is just how I see it, being the youngest of six.



First off, for the majority of you who are the oldest and all of us who are the youngest, we are here by chance. By chance, I mean surprise. By surprise, I mean, “Oops.” The middle kids weren’t a surprise. After the first kid is born, parents think, “Well, I guess we’ve already signed up. Let’s have another or two.”

Being the oldest, chances are you had new clothes growing up. The further down the line you were, the more impaired your clothes were. As a chubby kid, I had a good day if I didn’t rip the inseam out of my pants.

Saying you’re the smart kid because you’re the oldest is like being the valedictorian of the GED class. The entire family all have the same genetics; you just happen to be the first tadpole out of the water with no competition yet. Being the middle child, I think, is the sweet spot. By then, parents are over the joy of the first kid, and middle kids just kind of fly under the radar. And especially at family reunions. Everyone remembers the first kid’s name because you were the golden child. All the grandparents and cousins received Christmas cards with a picture of you during an ultrasound. Everyone knows your name before you even arrived. The youngest child didn’t get all the “pre-game pep rally,” but still everyone knows your name. That’s because, as the youngest kids, we were the “I thought they weren’t gonna have anymore?” or the “I thought they were too old for that” baby.

Pecking order among siblings on the farm isn’t determined by the order in which we were born. Pecking order is determined by who can come up with the best names for your uncle’s new toupee? Who’s the brave one to tell Dad about the broken window? Who can come up with the best excuse why you smell like alcohol? Who can convince your little brother to eat that? Who is the best joke teller? Who can hold their breath the longest when Grandpa comes out of the bathroom? And most importantly, who can launch a grapefruit the farthest with Granny’s bra? These are things that are most important among siblings. We don’t care who’s the smartest, most well-spoken or most artistic. We care about the important things in life. Like the things we remember as we get older. The memories, that’s what matters.  end mark

Check Tim out on YouTube or at Tim the Dairy Farmer.